Research Questions and Objectives
There are unexplored synergies between regional institutions and poverty reduction, and scope for effective policy intervention to improve health equity and access to health care in the interests of people living in poverty.
This research project aims to establish, in relation to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR):
- What regional institutional practices and methods of regional policy formation are conducive to the emergence of embedded pro-poor health strategies? and
- What can national, regional and international actors do to promote such practices and methods?
Our findings will add important dimensions to understandings of the potential of regional integration to contribute to global goals of poverty reduction.
To this end, we aim to establish:
- whether UNASUR and SADC have a committed pro-poor focus in their health policies;
- whether and how regional health policy processes mobilise diverse social and political actors in the interests of very impoverished populations - or fail to do so, and why;
- what indicators effectively capture regional policy change and especially pro-poor regional health policy success and failure.
Our project has the further objectives of:
- strengthening research capacity in regional health, poverty and policy analysis;
- engaging regional secretariats, policy makers, health professionals, and representatives of impoverished populations and health users on the scope for more integrated and effective pro-poor regional policy-making, and in the design of monitoring methods, systems and instruments by which progress towards this aim may be achieved;
- drawing analytical and policy-relevant conclusions about the regional integration-poverty nexus, addressed to policy, practitioner, health users and academic audiences in Southern Africa, South America and beyond.